Nandi Hills is a small hill near Chikballapur. Nandi Hills is ideal only as a one day destination or a overnight trip however if you add the destinations near Nandi hills like Skandagiri famous for Tipu Sulthan's fort and Muddena halli famous for the Vishvesharaiah museum Nandi hill can be made part of a long weekend break from Bangalore.
Skandagiri, also known as Kalavara Durga, is an ancient mountain fortress located approximately 3 km from Chikballapur. The peak is at an altitude of about 1350 meters. The village at the foothill of the mountain is called Kandavara Halli and the hill is called Kandavarahalli Betta. The dilapidated walls of Tipu Sultan's fort can be seen even today . Tippu used the fort as a military base in his fierce fight against the British. Skandagiri surrendered to British troops on 19 October 1791.
Located at about 50 kms from Nandi hills near kempadenahalli, Kaiwara is a town associated with the epic, Mahabharatha. It is believed that pandavas lived here during their exile and Bhima killed Bakasura. Myth has it that a nearby cave in the hill contains the corpse of the demon.There is a garden complex in Kaivara, containing gardens and musical fountains. Also, in the garden are five cottages named after the pandavas and a mini zoo with herbarium.
Gummanayakana fort located about 30 kms from Nandi hills near Bagepalli is worth a visit to see the ruins of the fort. Gummanayakana Palya had its allegiance to the Vijayanagara empire and from the ruins the architectural influence can be well seen.
A small town about 60 kms from Nandi hills Chintamani is famous for its gold and silver trade and its agarbathi industry. This town is named after its founder Chintamani Rao, a maratha chieftain. One of the oldest dargahs in Karnataka, the Murugamalla Dargah of Rakhi Shah Wali about 8 Kms. from Chintamani, draws thousands of pilgrims, particularly during the annual urs.